With so many herbals on offer for the newcomer, this was the one I settled on after a little consultation. It is scholarly enough to take you deeper but well written enough to keep interest. I particularly appreciate the chapters treating individual systems in the body and the useful glossaries and indexes that made it easy to learn the actual chemical properties of plants and their various effects. This makes for a more informed approach to the plants than "this one is reputedly helpful for that ailment". I use this book all the time.